Fresh off the £1 billion Mail.ru Group IPO earlier this month, it appears that Russia’s leading Internet search engine, Yandex, is considering a possible IPO of its own in 2011. Under current market conditions, a Yandex IPO in London could be worth £1 billion.
While the London Stock Exchange seems to be the front runner at this point, the company is also considering a NASDAQ IPO which could bring in as much as USD $1.5 billion.
When Yandex first started talking of an IPO last year, a group of then-current investors including Baring Vostok, UFG Asset Management, and Tiger Global Management pooled their resources to purchase a combined 9% share being sold by minority investors. Between the three, the group now owns 60% of Yandex. None of the current investors has yet made any official statements regarding the possibility of an IPO.
As the largest Internet search engine in the Russian-speaking world, Yandex aims to be Russia’s leading Internet and technology company. They specialize in taking their understanding of Russian culture and language and applying it to a search portal which provides services like national and international news, local news, e-mail, user content, and more.
As of 2Q 2010 Yandex controlled roughly 64% of the Russian internet search market, followed by second-place Google at 22.1%. Total ad revenue in 2009 was reported at $278 million.